Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Letter to My Little One...and 37 Weeks!

Dear Caroline,
To say your daddy and I are excited to meet you would be an enormous understatement. We find ourselves laying in bed at night asking each other questions about you constantly―when you will get here, who you will look like, what our friends and family will say, what the first few weeks with you at home will be like―the list goes on and on.
As I hit life’s rewind button, I venture back to our wedding day last year--June 11, 2011. This was the happiest day of my life, the day I married your daddy. We had talked openly quite a bit about how we hoped to have a child sooner rather than later, but agreed that from that day forward, we would leave that up to God, for we know that His plans are far greater than ours. As one can see, we didn’t have to wait too long-July 8th was the day we found out we were pregnant.
When I think back to the moment I saw the word “pregnant” in that test strip window (and the 5 positive tests that followed), I knew our lives were going to change in the most profound way, a way that neither of us could comprehend at the time. I remember riding in the car, my stomach about to burst out of my body because I was so excited/scared/nervous all wrapped into one. I remember the look on your daddy’s face—a look of pure joy and happiness that God was going to bless our family with a baby. Jeff was so close to his father before he passed away and I know he prays he will have a relationship like that with you as well.
The next few months were some of the happiest times, in that we were able to share the news with our family and friends, venture to countless doctor appointments to check up on you and your growth/progress, and then finally find out we were having a sweet little Caroline. The gender reveal party we had was one of the most fun days—everyone was over the moon excited to know a little princess was coming into our world, even though I seemed to be the only one shocked since most everyone had said we were most assuredly having a girl all along. 
Shopping, nursery planning, and reading all about babies quickly started consuming my every waking thought and it seems like you always come up in conversation when I talk with friends, family, work colleagues, and even with strangers when I’m out and about. I was told I have that pregnancy “glow” and now I know what people mean—I can’t help but be ecstatic when I think of you and all the joy you have already brought to our family.
We have been blessed beyond measure as some very important people went above and beyond to shower us {and you} with good tidings and sweet gifts as we prepare to bring you home in just a few short weeks. Both daddy and I know these are the people that will undoubtedly shape your world just as they have shaped ours, and we feel lucky to know you are going to be surrounded by some mighty incredible people.
To be honest, I never knew how I would feel about being pregnant…the constant crazy rollercoaster of emotions, the changes to my body, and all the “fun” things no one tells you about until you’re experiencing it first-hand, but without a shadow of a doubt, I know you will be the single most important contribution I will ever make to this world.
On the other hand, I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that we are a wee bit nervous about you…neither of us have been around babies that much and we have no idea what we’re going to do with a newborn of our very own. But, we know God wouldn’t give us something we couldn’t handle, and that is also why your beloved Mimi is coming to stay with us so she can properly educate us on caring for you. That is also why I am lucky to have some wonderful mommy friends who I can call in a moment’s notice {Amber, Cami, Brittany Darling, and Jenna—yes, I am referring to you} J
I am 110% overjoyed about what’s to come and I am trying to be as patient as possible as we count down the days until you say “Hello World”. Nothing will ever be the same, and for that I am thankful. I know life is only going to get that much better once you make your grand entrance.
Caroline, thank you for making me understand what it is to be a mother.  Your Mimi always says nothing in the world compares to motherhood and I truly understand what she means by this statement already. I am forever grateful and humbled by this experience and know you, daddy, and I are in for a lifetime full of happiness.

And now for this week’s progress:

How Far Along? 37 weeks, 5 days…17 days to go!
Size of Caroline? A swiss chard-19.25 inches long (no wonder I feel her legs poking out all the time) and she weighs approximately 6.3 pounds
Maternity Clothes? Ugh…comfy pants, tunics, dresses, and flats-this is what I’m wearing each and every day-so boring, but at least I can still accessorize!
Weight Gain? 28 pounds and counting
Stretch Marks? Nope!
Gender? Girl!   
Sleep? Who knew what a little dose of Tylenol PM could do for a pregnant lady? I got the green light from my doctor to try it out…it only took 1 little pill (1/2 a dose) for me to snore the night away! Sleep is OK one night, and then bad the next, but I am trying to tell myself this is all in preparation for what my life will be like once she is actually here
Food Cravings? Doughnuts, apples and peanut butter, cereal, and chips
What I Miss? Sleeping on my stomach, thin ankles, working out
Symptoms? I had my first bout of contractions last night…WEIRD feeling. Not the most “enjoyable” moment, but definitely tolerable, at least for now. From my checkup this week, not much progress to report, but I am being optimistic!
Belly Button? Still half and half
Best Moment of the Week? Finishing the nursery-once and for all! I’ve promised a tour and I am going to give it to you tomorrow, so stay tuned. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Photo Time

I am horrid at keeping up with the February photo challenge...sometimes you just cant keep up the pace and I am going to remind myself of that next time I want to participate in something like this! However, better late than never so here goes nothing: 

February 23: My Shoes 
Vince Camuto, I heart you
February 24: Inside Your Bathroom Cabinet
Ours isn't much to look at, so here is Caroline's...stocked
with bath time essentials and cute towels, washcloths, and first aid gear
February 25: Green
The outside of our house...after Jeff got finished weeding and pruning the bushes
February 26: Night
My bed...there is no place better 
February 27: Something I Ate
Sophisticated taste right here...powdered AND frosted doughnuts
February 28: Money
I have no money money goes to buying this instead,
which are all green like money! ;)

P.S. Can you tell my mind is a big blob today? I can't concentrate on anything, so I apologize for the plain jane post...I'm hoping I can make it up to you tomorrow!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Manic Monday...Yet Again

What I thought was intended to be a "relaxing" weekend turned into 2 days of non-stop back-to-back errands, chores, and necessary tasks...Yes, I think Jeff has started nesting, too. He looked at me in all seriousness and said "babe, she could be here any day-we've got to get this done."
It did feel really good to get so much accomplished around the house-finally hanging curtains in the formal living room...have a little peak for yourself via Instagram:
We moved the fun zebra chair in front of the window as a fun contrast to the muted mustard paisley curtains and I love the little "pop". While in Target, I also spotted some adorable pillows to use in our mudroom on our built-in bench, so we brought those home as well.
For other springtime home improvements, we {and by we I mean mostly Jeff} weeded the flower beds and cut back our rose bushes...I'm glad that man loves to be out in the yard so much, becaue it's most certainly not my speciality.
We also made stops by Home Depot to pick out drawer hardware for the office nook {which is almost done}, and then spent the rest of our days hanging all the wall decor in the nursery...and yes, the final reveal is coming this week!

Now, on to the important stuff-the Oscars! Was anyone else a little bored with this year's red carpet looks? I was wanting va-va voom Hollywood glamour and I think it was a tad bit underwhelming, but I did have a few favorites:
Viola Davis
Angelina Jolie
Emma Stone {though she did resemble Nicole Kidman's iconic look
from a previous year, she still looked incredible}
Cameron Diaz {not a fan of the hair, but her body in that dress was superb}
I even managed to stay awake for the entire show, which is a success these days! Overall, I thought Billy Crystal did a good job, it seemed like a smoothly run show-my favorite parts being the Cirque Du Soleil sequence, the interviews throughout the night with the celebrities, the "In Memoriam" tribute, and of course, Chris Rock-I vote bringing him back to host next year...he is hilarious!

Happy Monday to everyone... working from home, enjoying this gorgeous 65 degree sunshiney weather, and then off to the doctor for our weekly check-up!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The "Glow" of Pregnancy...Maternity Pictures

As of late, I know my blog has been transformed to a constant swirl of anything and everything baby, and to my loyal friends out there, I promise to revert back to more of my "old ways" once little darling finally comes, but I definitely wanted to take a moment to share some of my new favorite pictures.
Yes, I caved in and had maternity pictures taken, as I wanted to make sure we captured this special time and to one day be able to show Caroline just how special she is, starting from the time she was in mommy's belly. I'm now a changed person and I know what people say when they tell you there is nothing in the world like the blessing of pregnancy and what it does to your body {the good and the bad, but mostly wonderful}. These are all brought to you by one of my best friends, and very talented photographers Candice. We spent two afternoons together taking all kinds of fun shots. Here are just a few of my favorites...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

36 Week Bumpdate...Almost There!

How Far Along? 36 weeks, 6 days…23 days to go!
Size of Caroline? The "popular" Crenshaw Melon! She is about 18.75 inches long and weighs 5.75 pounds—wee one is getting bigger!
Maternity Clothes? I was shopping in Old Navy this past weekend and walked right by the maternity clothes…it feels so good to know I will be out of the mostly dreary/drab wearables in a matter of weeks! Yes, wishful thinking/utmost positivity on my part—operation “Get My Body Back” will start immediately!
Weight Gain? 27 pounds…My doctor was proud—a pat on the back for weight gain!
Stretch Marks? Not any that I can see
Gender? Pretty in PINK!  
Sleep? Benny (the prego pillow) has been kicked out of the bed permanently…he wasn't serving his purpose anymore. Now, it’s an endless cycle of trying to get comfortable with normal pillows and tossing and turning. I cannot wait to be able to sleep on my stomach again.
Food Cravings? Cuties AKA clementines, powdered doughnuts (that some of you definitely saw in my post yesterday), and Girl Scout cookies (especially partial to frozen thin mints and tagalongs, and yes I have purchased my fair share this year)
What I Miss? Sleep, being able to stay up past 10pm, and wearing heels—I’m not a “flats” person and I cannot wait to wear my fun shoes ASAP
Symptoms? Endless amounts of Braxton Hicks, and tons of other stuff…but we’ll leave it at that. Some things are just better left unsaid.  
Belly Button? Still half and half.
Best Moment of the Week? My 36 week checkup—my first “weekly” visit, so now until Baby Caroline comes, I will be seeing my doctor every Monday. I didn’t know what to expect, and was a little nervous, so I was happy Jeff came for support. My doctor checked me—1cm dilated and 50% effaced—which was music to my ears. Progress, even if it is just a little bit! Even better, Caroline is head down (THANK YOU LORD) and she thinks based on everything as it currently stands, I should be able to have a normal delivery AKA no c-section. Only time will tell and that could change, but she is optimistic which helped to put my mind at ease. We’re in the home stretch friends! 
P.S. these pictures go out to Kate-you asked for a more "fitted" view of the bump...I think this definitely fits into that category ;)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Explosion of the Wednesday Randomness

My boss gave me the go ahead to start working 2-3 days a week at home these last few weeks…hallelujah! It most certainly pays off to have a manager that has 2 kids of her own—I know I will be able to get so much more accomplished without countless distractions throughout my day and I’ll feel much more prepared handing over my responsibilities while I’m out on maternity leave.

As a lover of Pinterest from it’s early launch, I saw a really fun post on Rambling Renovators the other day—you can see what pictures and such people “repin” from your blog. Apparently, the blogging world likes our master bedroom, wedding details from our big day, and the gender reveal party. See more here:
**and p.s. to view your own, simply  remove my blog and insert your own… a fun little thing to learn!
I am a celebrator of Lent most years, however for 2012, I am giving myself a reprieve. I think I have “given up” a few things this past year—i.e. sushi, alcohol, deli meat, endless amounts of seafood, unprocessed food, etc—so I will not be participating in my usual routine. Does that make me sound horrible or what?

Photo Challenge:
February 19: Something I Hate to Do—the dishes…however, it’s one of my chores because Jeff just can’t seem to figure out the proper placement of any dish
February 20: Handwriting—my weekly to-do list…

February 21: A Favorite Picture of Myself—last year after a friend's
wedding...that was a FUN FUN night!!

February 22: Where You Work—well, today I am working from the house, so I am parked on the kitchen island with a plethora of stuff everywhere! I am so ready for our office space to be done!
Happy Hump Day/Ash Wednesday friends…hope you all have a great day!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Another Weekend Come and Gone

Monday morning=sad face time. Back to work, though there is an end in sight...maternity leave! I know this isn't going to be a "vacation" by any means, but to be away from the corporate environment for 10-12 weeks is fine by me. This weekend was one of the most productive we've had in awhile, and I am so thankful Jeff loves to-do lists just as much as I do.
Friday night, we invited Meg and Aaron over for dinner...and not just any dinner! We grilled out and ate tons of yummy food, finished dinner with special goodies from Gigi's Cupcakes, and then Jeff and I surprised them with a little question. We had been trying to find a special way to ask Meg and Aaron to be Caroline's godparents and I found the sweetest frame at my go-to gift store. Then I wrote out a poem to them from Caroline, asking if they would guide and help her, and always be there for her. Needless to say, the BFF didn't make it through the first line without crying some tears. We are honored that they said yes and it means the world to know they'll have a special relationship with our baby from the day she is born.
Saturday morning, we got up and headed to the gym, then came back to the house to meet Mom who helped us hang the curtains in the nursery. Of course then my tears started after all was complete as I am just so happy with how our peanut's nursery looks...just need to finish hanging the wall decor and then lay the rug down and we'll be done! I promise not to make you wait too much longer ;).
The rest of the afternoon, we relaxed around the house, taking care of other chores and then rented The Change Up and ordered pizza...perfect Saturday night to me!
Sunday was another successful day-we bought a video camera {which to me clearly demonstrates how old we are and what's about to happen}, and then spent the rest of the day organizing, finishing my thank-you notes, and starting on baby laundry!

And, I am catching up on the photo challenge, too!
February 16: Something New-my new Oreck Air Purifier...isn't it cool? I got invited to the launch party last week, and each of us got to take one home! First, it plays white noise which is perfect for helping little one sleep, and it will help clean her room clean and fresh-yay!
February 17: Time-leaving work on Friday a bit was a great time indeed!
February 18: Drink-While browsing the aisles of Target, I took a much needed detour for the Icee machine...perfect little treat!
That's all I've got for today my friends...hope all of you had a fantastic weekend, too!!
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